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Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey talks preserving Austin culture on Joe Rogan podcast

Academy-award winning actor Matthew McConaughey explains his goals for Austin, in his role as the minister of culture of the University of Texas, and what it means to be an Austinite on Joe Rogan's podcast.


While both celebrities live in Austin, McConaughey was recently on the podcast virtually after Rogan announced one of his producers had contracted COVID-19. McConaughey was brought on to discuss his latest project "Greenlights," a memoir compiled from a lifetime of journals.

Joe Rogan Experience #1552 - Matthew McConaughey www.youtube.com

In the conversation between the Austinites, McConaughey said he is focused on his role as minister of culture, which he described as being about reminding people why they love Austin and initiating and educating newcomers on the city.

A UT alumnus and current professor at the university, McConaughey named himself minister of culture last year. Also involved with Austin culture outside of the university, he is a co-owner of Austin's first Major League Soccer team, Austin FC.

When Rogan moved to Austin this summer, McConaughey welcomed him, he said on the podcast. The two also had a conversation about how not to change the unique city of Austin.

Rogan asked the actor what newcomers should not do when they come to Austin, as not to tarnish the city for what it is. McConaughey said that newcomers have to pay a tithe in the form of being fair and taking accountability.

"It's not what Austin can do for you, it's what you can do for Austin," he said. "The rule in Austin is all you have to do is be yourself."

McConaughey believes Austin is about celebrating differences, but there are social contracts for people to be good to one another.

"We look ahead, but we appreciate tradition at the same time; we take care as much as we can of our natural beauties around here but at the same time we're metropolis, we're growing up," he said. "Now, how can we grow up, grow wide and still grow deep? That's what I want to lean into."

Matthew McConaughey featured on the cover of People Magazine… in a photo taken by his kids (Matthew McConaughey/Instagram)

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Two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Texas' first confirmed case of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he will rescind statewide pandemic restrictions, including business capacity limits and mask mandates, next week. Although businesses—especially those tied to the hospitality industry—have suffered financially over the last year, many Austin establishments are rejecting Abbott's order.

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(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Austonia has hired Claire Partain as a reporter covering Austin FC, the MLS expansion team that will be Austin's first major league sports franchise.

Partain is a former sports editor for the The University Star, Texas State University's daily newspaper. She edited, covered sports, produced podcasts, and hosted a pre-game TXST football tailgate live series. Partain has been freelancing with the company since January, prior to accepting a staff position.

A native of Fairfield, Texas, Partain grew up playing youth soccer. In her high school years, she played alongside her mother in what was then called the Freestone County Hispanic Women's Soccer League.

Claire's coverage philosophy: "I like to bring out the humanity of sports, and I want to make this the most accessible sports coverage possible."

She notes that soccer is the predominant sport for young people. "It's a global sport, and we're more connected to the world than older generations."

That approach fits the team's already visible presence in Austin, says Austonia CEO Mark Dewey. "Austin FC has established itself as a leading Austin brand, one that stands for a more unified Austin community, a bigger global presence for Austin and fun. Austonia shares those values."

Partain's soccer coverage begins immediately, with her free, hosted text service—Austonia FC. For updates, special access and inside info, all moderated by Claire, sign up below.

Austonia is the city's independent, free, locally-owned and all-digital source for Austin news, information and entertainment.

Connect with Austonia through its daily email newsletter and text updates, @austonianews Instagram feed, @austonianews and @austinist Twitter feeds, @austonianews Facebook page and its website austonia.com.

Two hours after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that state mandates on wearing masks and limiting business capacities would be lifted, Mayor Steve Adler wrote a letter to the city urging residents to keep their masks on and stay safe.

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